The video web site, YouTube, is banned in China. For The Irish Times correspondent, Cliffard Coonan, the ban leaves him isolated, unaware of new developments, and frustrated. His son’s favourite video, embedded below, is unavailable to him.
Now China wants to ban Twitter, one of the technologies which helped Irish school students spread the word of their examination superintendent’s ‘paper two gaff‘. ‘ Based on how much the exam fiasco here has irritated the Irish government, it is easy to see why other governments might (quietly) wish they could follow China.
But it is worth pointing out that some technological practices on the internet are pretty much banned in Ireland and the ‘west’, not least the practice of downloading music files, other forms of peer-to-peer file sharing, and burning and ripping. Sure, most technology users ignore these laws but some people have been brought to the Courts and some internet service providers have said they will go after serial downloaders, a threat which scares a lot of internet users into avoiding the download sites and P2P software packages. So we get YouTube and Twitter but our internet isn’t quite as ‘free’ as we might think. Then again, we do at least get to enjoy the wonders of Lego comedy.